DU Rowers Enjoy Successful Head of the Ohio Regatta
Oct. 6, 2012
Duquesne Rowing began its fall racing season on Saturday with a cold but competitive Head of the Ohio Regatta here in Pittsburgh, PA. The Dukes did not race in their normal red and blue, but instead wore pink shirts to support breast cancer awareness in support of Amy Wassenberg who lost her battle with cancer just after Labor Day this year. Amy is the mother of one of our current student-athletes and we wanted to show our support not only for Amy and the Wassenberg Family, but for all of those out there affected by this disease.
To begin the cold rainy Saturday, Duquesne christened its newest shell to bring it luck before it raced in its inaugural race of the year. Father McCool joined the team and all of its supporters to bless the new boat and all of the rowers prior to racing. It was then that Jeff Lowe, the coach that began rowing at Duquesne University over 25 years ago and for whom the boat is named, christened the shell and sent it off for its first ever race. In the words of a great coach, Jeff Lowe, "Tradition is a large part of rowing. The dedication of a boat in one's name is the highest honor in our sport. I am very proud to have this honor. This honor in my opinion extends to all the rowing alumni, coaches, and administration that have made this program today, I am just a small part of that group and very proud to have had that opportunity."
This fantastic beginning to the day brought about fantastic finishes as the Dukes raced throughout the day. The first event for Duquesne was the Women's Open Eight in which Duquesne had 2 varsity entries, 1 freshman entry, and 1 alumni entry in a field of 22 crews. The 1st varsity eight of cox: Kristy Pietrone, stroke: Derin Ongun, Maria De Iuliis, Hannah Mazur, Julia Borsari, Regina Dutz, Marissa Conlin, Rachael Ross, and Laura Dunlap finished first with a time of 15:11.78. In the competitive field this crew finished ahead of the varsity eights from A-10 rival Dayton, Marietta, and West Virginia who finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively. The 2nd varsity eight of cox: Megan Parmarter, stroke: Lauren Turner, Samantha Newhart, Alex Watts, Courtney Purslow, Hannah Olinger, Lindsay Wyllie, Elizabeth Rhodes, and Katherine Eastwood finished 6th in 15:36.33, just 6 seconds behind the 2nd eight from WVU, while the freshman eight of cox: Mary Clair, stroke: Emily Zborowski, Amanda Wassenberg, Emma Riegel, Emily Herzig, Lauren Hughes, Meredith Starczewski, Lexie Poudrier, and Maureen O'Brien finished 8th in 15:48.34 beating many first and second varsity boats in the field. The alumni boat also represented Duquesne well. The boat of cox: Jenn Langzettel, stroke: Andrea Komanecky ('09), Dee Welch ('09), Sarah Shippen ('08), Beth Brennan ('12), Kristina Powell ('09), Lauren Thorpe ('08), Rachael Thornton ('12), and Brittany DelPizzo ('09) finished 14th in 16:31.91.
The win in the varsity eight marks the first ever first place finish by a varsity eight from Duquesne at the Head of the Ohio Regatta in its history. When told of the results at the completion of the varsity eight event Jeff Lowe had these words to share with the team, "Congrats on a big win. I watched the race and saw them finish. I have watched thousands of crews in my life and told my family before we left that it was a winning performance, my wife said I had no idea until the results would be posted.... but I knew. Joe thanks for letting me know my eyes are still good enough to tell a great job when I see one!!!!!" "Ladies, Continue to honor those that have come before you and continue to carry yourselves in a proud manner and represent the University with grace and dignity. Everyone loves to win but you will always be remembered for how you carry yourselves into the future and handle the life skills you get from rowing."
As the sun came out and the day warmed up the Dukes got ready to race in the Women's Open Four Event in which there were 5 entries from Duquesne in a field of 27 crews. Finishing 3rd in a time of 16:44.19 was the Duquesne sophomore boat of cox: Michelle Karkos, stroke: Lauren Turner, Courtney Purslow, Hannah Mazur, and Gretchen Swabe. Close behind in fourth was the line-up of cox: Kristy Pietrone, stroke: Derin Ongun, Maria, De Iuliis, Rachael Ross, and Laura Dunlap with a time of 16:45.45. In fifth was the Duquesne freshman four of cox: Mary Clair, stroke: Emily Herzig, Emma Riegel, Meredith Starczewski, and Lauren Hughes in 17:00.26. The line-up of cox: Megan Parmarter, stroke: Hannah Olinger, Marissa Conlin, Regina Dutz, and Julia Borsari finished 7th in 17:26.19 and the line-up of cox: Mary Ketchner, stroke: Lindsay Wyllie, Alex Watts, Nicole Wozniak, and Tori Snyder finished 9th in 17:33.21. Only crews from Dayton, West Virgina, and Marietta finished ahead of any of the Duquesne boats. Dayton won in a time of 16:28.87 with WVU close behind in second in 16:30.83.
This is a fantastic way to start the year. This is one of the most competitive Head of the Ohio Regattas that the coaching staff has seen since they began here at Duquesne. With conference rival Dayton attending as well as fast crews from WVU and Marietta along with the many hometown crews it really helped the women see where they stand and where they need to improve. It was a great test as they get ready to face more competition in the weeks to come. At the Head of the Genesee Regatta on Saturday, October 13th Duquesne will face crews from Cornell, Syracuse, Buffalo, and Mercyhurst along with many other competitive crews.